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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, December 12, 2011  

 

CONTACT:
ERICA WILSON
(850) 414-2327
wilsone@elderaffairs.org

ADVOCATES RECOMMEND CHANGE FOR RESIDENTS IN LONG-TERM CARE

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program today announced the release of its annual report, which showcases the program’s accomplishments and recommendations for positive change in Florida’s long-term care facilities. 

The Ombudsman Program’s success thrives on its volunteers who selflessly donate time and energy to advocate for Florida’s 160,000 plus long-term care facility residents.  The program’s volunteers are trained to investigate complaints and perform administrative assessments in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult-family care homes to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of Florida’s most vulnerable population.

“Ombudsmen volunteers traveled over 365,400 miles and saved the State of Florida over one million dollars this past federal fiscal year in salaries and administrative costs for long-term care residents through hours of unpaid service,” said Elder Affairs Secretary Charles T. Corley.  “By giving up their own time, these volunteers truly show their dedication to serve residents.”

In addition to money saved and mileage traveled by its volunteers, the annual report also showcases the program’s accomplishments, including participation in the Governor’s Assisted Living Workgroup to promote improvement of care for residents living in long-term care facilities, the creation of new training materials, and a redesign of the administrative assessment and visitation form. 

“The new visitation form truly complies with the spirit of the Older American’s Act, creating questions that will enable our volunteers to listen and advocate for concerns and needs expressed by residents,”
said State Ombudsman, Jim Crochet.  “The new training materials encourage self-study time for our volunteers, decreased classroom training, and increased time spent in the field.  We want to equip our volunteers with the best tools possible to become the most effective advocates for long-term care facility residents.”

With the release of this report, the program hopes to create dialogue between policy makers, long-term care facility residents, family members, caregivers, and concerned citizens about recurring issues in the long-term care industry.  Working together with volunteers, agency partners, and stakeholders, the program hopes to promote positive change to make sure residents’ rights are being protected and respected.

For more information about the Ombudsman Program, to receive a free copy of this year’s Ombudsman Program’s annual report, or to learn more about becoming a volunteer ombudsman, call toll-free at 1-888-831-0404 or visit ombudsman.myflorida.com online.  All program services, including individualized response to residents’ concerns, are free.

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